Tuesday, November 21, 2006

BA Cross fiasco

The Archbishop of York yesterday rapped British Airways after a Christian worker lost an appeal to openly wear her cross. Dr John Sentamu branded the ban “nonsense”.

He urged the airline to reconsider its policy. Check-in worker Nadia Eweida was told she could wear the symbol, but only when not in uniform and away from the public at Heathrow airport.

She refused and accused the firm of religious discrimination.

Yesterday she lost an internal appeal after BA insisted its policy was based on “practicality”. But Dr Sentamu said: “British Airways needs to look at the history of the country it represents, whose culture, laws, heritage and tradition owe so much to the symbol it would ban.”

Liberty campaigner Shami Chakrabarti said the appeal’s failure was a “bonkers result”.

And London Mayor Ken Livingstone said Nadia, 55, had a “right to wear a cross”. Nadia, of Twickenham, South-West London, is on unpaid leave but can return to work.

She wore the cross at yesterday’s meeting and insisted: “I’m not politically motivated, I just follow the Biblical truth.”

BA said she had a right to a second appeal next month.

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